If you've heard of Marmite then consider yourself one of the few Americans who actually know what it is. The spread isn't well-known in the U.S but it is very popular in the U.K.
The concentrated paste is made from yeast extract obtained from brewer's yeast and is used as a spread on toast and in cooking. But, when it comes to the taste there really is no in between, either you love it or hate it.
If you're a fan of the quintessential British spread then don't let that change because scientists have found some unexpected benefits in consuming the tangy paste.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Marmite could promote healthy brain function by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Researchers studied a group of 28 adult volunteers and found that those who ate a teaspoon of Marmite everyday for a month experienced reduced visual stimulus in comparison to part of the group who ate peanut butter.
The 30% reduction in stimulus response meant that the GABA is functioning well and creating balanced brain activity. Since GABA plays a role in anxiety and epilepsy, the scientists at the University of York think this is a great stepping stone for further research on disorders affecting the brain.
"There could potentially be beneficial effects for people with some neurological disorders linked to GABA," the study's lead authors Daniel Baker and Anika Smith told AFP.
One of the limitations of the study is that there isn't an explanation as to what components of Marmite make it a superfood. But, the researchers claim that the high levels of glutamate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 could be a reason.
If you'd like to find out what Marmite tastes like, you can grab a jar from Amazon to satisfy your curiosity.